Protestors who abused Farage in Edinburgh are a 'disgrace'
UKIP leader calls mob 'fascist scum' but supporters say he won't stop engaging with those who hate him
THE mob of angry protestors who forced Nigel Farage to flee a press conference in Scotland will only strengthen the UKIP leader's belief in good-natured debate, one of his supporters has said.
Farage was whisked away in a police van yesterday after about 50 protestors disrupted the party's Edinburgh launch of its by-election campaign for Aberdeen Donside. The UKIP leader had to be escorted away by police as protestors yelled 'fascist' and told him to 'Go home to England'.
The incident was condemned by several of Farage's political opponents today including The Daily Telegraph columnist Dan Hodges.
"I'm no political fan of Nigel Farage," tweeted Hodges. "But what happened in Scotland is a disgrace. He's free to campaign wherever he wants."
Farage branded the protestors "fascist scum" and said that they were motivated by "total and utter hatred" of the English.
"If this is the face of Scottish nationalism, it's a pretty ugly nation, Farage told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme. "The anger, the hatred, the shouting, the snarling, the swearing were all linked in to a desire for the Union Jack to be burnt."
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Michael Heaver, a political commentator who campaigns for UKIP, said that those who had "hounded" Farage in Edinburgh had sunk to new lows. They had failed to realise that Farage "welcomes" those hostile to his opinions to attend his public meetings.
"Those who hate Farage can say why - and he will give them the courtesy of a response," writes Heaver. "Not all politicians do that; he should be respected for it."
But Farage's tolerance for those he perceives as opponents was not in evidence this morning when he hung up the phone in the middle of a radio interview with Good Morning Scotland. Farage said he had "sensed hatred" in some of the questions posed by interviewer David Miller, who probed the UKIP leader about his knowledge of Scottish politics.
Miller said the electoral outlook for UKIP in Scotland is "rather gloomy" and asked Farage how many elected representatives the party had there.
"Absolutely none," the UKIP leader replied, before adding: "I'm sensing similar hatred from this line of questioning that I got on the streets yesterday in Edinburgh."